Spooky Cool at The Grier-Musser Museum

All photos by Elise Thompson for The LA Beat

The Grier Musser-Museum is an 1898 Queen Anne Victorian house located in the Bonnie Brae neighborhood of LA. The historical monument features holiday exhibits throughout the year. The museum recently exhibited a collection of Alice in Wonderland  memorabilia, including dolls, toys, books and paper ephemera alongside their Easter exhibit.

The museum is family owned-and operated, and has also served as a home to the current generation since the early 2000s. Besides the seasonal decorations, the house is stuffed from floor to ceiling with amazing figurines, toys, collectibles and oddities. What is amazing is that everything is cleaned and dusted. The dolls, the depression glass, the antique clothing and costumes–well, you just have to see it for yourself. The next exhibit theme will be Mother’s Day, but the permanent collections are worth the visit regardless of the theme (Although Halloween is a really good time to visit).

Many of the displays are not museum-quality, and owner/founder Susan Tejada mixes in the modern with older stuff. But it is amazing as a collection. There are so many things that I am drawn to, I start to think that this woman and I must be very similar, then I see a figurine and realize that maybe she is actually more like my grandmother. Some of the items are so bizarre and out of left field that the tour is constantly interesting, even if the historical lecture doesn’t interest you.

As you trip out on some of the stuff, you try to hide your interest in the objects’ weirdness from all of the normies on the tour with you. But pretty soon they start making comments and you realize the guests are all like-minded on the kitsch and the creepy. Susan, who also acts as tour guide skillfully sidesteps any questions trying to tease out a ghost story, so we continued to hide our ghoulish fascination–at least from her.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for children. Cash only. Tours available Wednesday – Saturday, 1-4pm. Please call 3 to 4 days prior to your desired tour date to make a reservation. (213)413-8184. Parking is available in the rear of the museum. Please drive up the front driveway to the back of the museum.

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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